Did you know that only wool will felt? Neither did I!
It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I learned during a misguided (you might even call it cute) attempt to felt… acrylic yarn. Ha ha ha… Well, people, Jenny learned that day that acrylic yarn does not, in fact, felt. It just gets kind of scruffy looking, but that might have been from the scrub brush I attacked the thing with out of desperation!
To any who are unfamliar with felting wool, it is the process where the wool becomes extremely dense in hot water and agitation. The fibers in wool are just like the fibers on your very own head (give or take). People with dredlocks have felted hair :)
Whenever you knit something to felt you will be knitting it a LOT bigger than the finished product. Remember your favorite sweater that you accidentally threw in the dryer and an hour later looked like it could fit a toddler? Yup, you felted your wool sweater.
– When you felt the pieces you also want to throw in a little bit of detergent (or some fancy wool wash if you please) to get through the natural oils so the fibers will really stick together.
– Use your washing machine (hand felting takes TIME) – A top loader works best so you can take out your piece and check its progress every 5 minutes or so
– Felt our pieces in a tied up pillowcase! Or a zipperbag. If you felt often, or you felt something large, in your washer the fibers WILL collect and block the drain! Hello, Mr. Repairman – Goodbye, Mr. Paycheck.
– Add jeans, tennis balls, shoes, or anything heavy and washable, into the wash; it will help with agitation.
– I usually toss my pieces in the dryer for a minute or two (mine is high heat) to get the drying process started. Otherwise, depending on how dense your piece is and the humidity it could take days to dry out.
Happy felting :)
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